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Three nice games for grades 4-8.  
Submitted by Ed Rajkowski and Sharee Rask, Rice, Minnesota.  


Background: Here are three great games that can be used for upper elementary and middle school students.

5 Team Fast Break Basketball


  • One basketball
  • Colored jerseys for five teams

Class Organization: Using the diagram as shown, divide the class into five teams. If two courts are available, you can use ten teams. Assign the teams a position on the basketball court.

How We Play It: The object of the game is to score quickly on a fast break. Teams either rotate off the court or onto the court, depending on a variety of circumstances.

For Example: To start the game, the basketball is given to Team #1, who quickly brings the ball up court and tries to score against Team #2. Team #1 will shoot until a basket is made or possession is lost.

As soon as Team #1 either scores a basket or loses possession of the ball, Team #1 quickly rotates off the court and Team #3 rotates in to defend against Team #2, who brings the ball down court to score. Team #4 rotates in to replace Team #2 as they go out after either scoring or losing possession of the ball to Team #3. Continue in this fashion until all teams have played at least once, or until time is up.

Other Rules:

- Players are not allowed to steal the ball, but they can intercept and rebound.
- If the ball goes out of bounds, it goes to the defense.
- The defense must remain behind the free throw line until the offense is past half court.
- You can set a time limit of 30 seconds or a maximum of three shot attempts when a team has the ball.

Scoring: A team scores 2 points for each basket. A foul is an automatic 2 points for the other team. A player who is called for traveling scores 1 point for the opposition and they take possession of the ball.

Teacher Tip: After a while, you may want to have the teams play other teams. To do this, rotate the side with three teams up one position. This causes the following to happen:

- Team #3 will play Team #2,
- Team #2 will play Team #5, and
- Team #4 will play Team #1.


- 7 bases
- 1 hockey goal
- 1 puck
- Hockey sticks for fielders and batter

Class Organization: Using the diagram as shown, divide the class into two teams. Assign one team to the outfield and one team to bat.

How We Play It: The batter hits the puck into the field and runs twice around the outer set of bases. No bunting is allowed. The fielding team retrieves the puck and passes it to 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and then shoots the puck into the net. The batter is out if the puck is in the net before he touches home base. Otherwise, the batter is safe.

After three outs (or if everyone has batted and three outs have not been made), the teams exchange places. Any interference by either team is an automatic out or safe. Batters and shooters are not allowed to raise the stick above waist level. This results in an automatic out if the batter does this, or the batter is safe if the fielders do it.

Hot Shot Basketball

- Basketballs
- Poly spots
- Stopwatch
- Basketball goals

Class Organization: Divide the class into as many groups as you have basketball goals. Each group is assigned to a goal and given a basketball.

How We Play It: Each student will have 30 seconds to score as many points as possible. The first person in each group starts at the top of the key. On the signal -go- from the teacher, the student has 30 seconds to make as many baskets as he can. He is allowed to shoot from any spot as often as he likes. In addition to shooting from the designated spots, he can make up to three lay-ups worth 2 points each. The student must get his own rebounds.

Variations: The following variations can be used to make the game more exciting.

- Have a total team score with each student shooting 30 seconds.

- Have a 2-minute running time with each student taking one shot when it is their turn, rebounding and passing the ball back to the next student. Students wait on a spot at the top of the key and go through the line as many times as they can. Add up a total team score.

- Give bonus points if an individual attempts shots from all spots.

- For older students, subtract points for traveling.

- Assign one spot to the shooter and have their team rebound for him.

- Keep track of the best 2-minute score in the class period and see if the next class can beat it.

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